I’ve always found the darkness to be comforting. That’s why the vividness of the colours perturbs me. I know this isn’t real. It can’t be. It can’t be because there is a woman staring at me and I pretty sure I know her.
I think she’s my mum.
She has to be my mum. I don’t really remember the specifics of her appearance or the sound of her voice. How can I not remember those things? I wasn’t a baby when they pissed off and left me so why can’t I remember?
I want to remember my mum. I hate her for abandoning me but I want to remember the sound of her voice and the scent of her musk, the thing other kids remember. I want to know why. I just want to see her in the flesh and here she is. Glowing in the light.
She looks just like me, I guess she would. I have her eyes, her piercing green eyes. The thing is her eyes are too piercing, the green too vivid. Her hair is cropped and blonde, a platinum blonde that overwhelms me. She is beautiful. However, this is how I want her to look; I don’t remember her face. I don’t remember his face. This is how I want her to be but...she can’t be like that. She’s worm meat now.
“It’s okay, darling. I’m here. Come to me darling. Let go; it’s okay baby, let go.” Her voice is like a chime, resounding in my head. She looks and sounds angelic.
Let go? Let go of what? Life?
Maybe I should give up. What is the point in living in this craphole? Nothing is ever going to get better. Even if a vaccine was possible, so many people have died that it would seem redundant. I don’t want to live in this and I’m tired of fighting; maybe it’s my time.
“Yes baby, I’m here. Come with me, let go.”
“There’s nothing to be frightened of. I’m here, my love. Just come to me.”
I don’t know what to do. Is this what I’m meant to do? My end game. Kill an infected and die by a bullet. Alone. Always alone in the darkness.
I could be free. I want to be free.
I’m ready to say goodbye. To the bloodshed. To Rita. To Roman. To John...
How can I leave him? He’s been like a father to me and he’s already lost so much. This is my choice. I can’t hold on for him or anyone.
“I’m ready. I want to come with you.”
She just smiles at me and extends her hand. I walk forward to take her hand. I want this; I want this.
My fingertips are just inches away from hers when everything changes. A bright light appears to burst. It dazes me. Is this the literal light at the end?
“Elektra. Elektra, look at me! Oh god, you’re bleeding so much. It’s going to be okay just stay with me. Please!”
Roman? I can hear his voice. How can I hear his voice? I’m dying; do I have a choice?
He’s pleading with me to stay but can I really? He didn’t abandon me. I’m scared. I’m conflicted. My mum is beckoning me to the great beyond and Roman is pleading with me to stay.
“Elektra, it’s alright goose. You’re going to be fine, I swear. Please don’t die on us. Rita, can you stem the bleeding?”
“John, I’m trying but I don’t think I can. The bullet has torn a hole in her intestines. I don’t know if there is anything I can do. John, Roman, now might be the time to say goodbye.”
“No, Rita. We can’t lose her. Elektra, listen, if you can hear me please keep fighting, I can’t lose you.”
Roman’s starting to snivel over me already. Why are they begging me to stay? I can’t. I want to die but this is heart-breaking. Usually, it would sicken me to my stomach but these are people that I care about. People that care whether I live or die. Do I really have the right to die? After everything with Isla?
Uh, why is this so difficult?
Why did their voices have to penetrate the bubble around my mind as the bullet pierced my flesh?
“I need to stitch the hole in the large intestine but I can’t see anything. There’s too much blood, I can’t see a damn thing. John, please accept...”
“No Rita, I am not losing her as well. Stitch her up or I do it myself. She’s a fighter, she can make it. She’ll be pissed at you when she wakes up and discovers you gave up on her. Do what you have to do. I need some air, Roman? You coming with, I need to talk to you.”
“But...I want to stay here, in case something happens. I should have been there, John. I...I..should have been in the haunt with her. She wouldn’t have got hurt. It’s my fault.”
Roman begins to hyperventilate. There’s something about his cry that gets to me; a desperate futile yearning. That’s the second time in two days that he’s cried. Are they sure I’m the girl?
I hesitate. My mother waits in front of me, still smiling radiantly. How can I make a choice between life and death? I’m needed here. There’s something I heard in all of their voices. Love. John loves me as a daughter and Roman...Roman loves me in another way entirely. I should have seen it before; he’s not discreet and he does love me as more than a friend. Maybe I feel the same. I mean I have always cared about him. He is an annoying dickhead but I would be devastated without him in my life. Not that I will ever tell him that if I ever wake up. What am I saying?
Do I pick a certain, a promise of a violent life surrounded by love or do I pick the unknown? The end of everything. If death is the end, I am surrendering to the eternal darkness.
Maybe I don’t have a choice.
Death or life?
Is there really any competition between them? Are they really the same thing?
Suddenly, I can feel again. The pain begins to rip through my body. It feels like I’m being ripped apart. I can’t do anything. I can’t move. I can’t scream. I’m trapped inside of my head. I can feel Roman holding onto my hand. His hands are clammy and sticky. It must be my blood I can feel on his hand. He must have found me and carried me back.
If I could just move my hand, it might give him hope. I think he realises how futile it is pleading to me. Uh, why can’t I control my own body?
Am I paralysed?
If I am, my decision has already been made. If I’m not, the choice is still there.
Mum still stands here, looking at me; I am ready to do either.
I can feel Roman letting go of my hand. He must have moved because I can feel him kiss my forehead. I can hear his footsteps leave the room.
“I love you, mum.”
“I love you too, baby. Let go. Come with me. Freedom, you deserve it baby”
“But...I can’t do this.”
I take out the blade in my belt. I thrust the blade into her stomach. A blinding ray of light consumes me.
I’m not ready to die. I have so much to live for. I want to live, should my body permit it.
I focus everything on moving. The pain is searing through me but I can’t think about it. The time for giving up has past. I can find the strength.
I have been so stupid; of course I have something to fight and fight for. I will never stop fighting to live.
“Elektra, sweetheart, can you hear me? If you can hear me, squeeze my hand. Please squeeze my hand. I don’t know what else to do. Sweetie, do something.”
Rita, I can hear you. I can hear you. I can hear you! I can hear you! I am screaming. I am trapped in my own mind. My own consciousness is fighting me, trying to subdue me. I break through. My heart is still beating and I am still breathing. I can break out of my own mind.
Rita takes my pulse. Her hands must be covered in blood. My blood. She gives a sigh of relief. I guess I am still alive after everything.
“You’re a tough girl, you know that. People have died from less. You’re not going to give up are you, honey?” She strokes my head “Beautiful girl, it’s going to be alright, hey? Keep fighting okay?”
Rita always saw me as an apprentice. I never thought I’d be under her blade again. After getting stabbed in the back and a broken leg, it never had the potential to be fatal. I was conscious the whole time. There was also a greater availability of valid pain medication. I would kill for paracetamol or morphine. Morphine. Anything to take away the pain. Oh god, this is tearing me apart. I can’t even ask for it. I just have to open my eyes. Blink. Anything. That’s all they need.
I can do something so simple. I can give them hope that they are not wasting drugs.
I will not die.
I will not die.
I feel like there is a barrier. Keeping me from my mobility.
I feel like I am attacking it with a pick axe, trying to escape from the darkness. Adrenaline is pumping through my veins yet again. Natural, not synthetic. That’s the only thing keeping my heart pumping.
Adrenaline and rage are a dangerous combination.
The barrier is a brick wall. I just keep hitting and hitting and hitting it. It seems strong but I am a stubborn little bitch.
The foundations become weaker and I can see the first cracks. My eyes are watering so much I cannot see anything but I keep going. I can’t stop for anything.
Again and again. I will win.
I will not be beaten by my own body.
Suddenly, the first brick begins to fall. It’s not long before the wall begins to crumble. Ha, brick after brick seems to float into the abyss. I begin to tear the rest apart with my bare hands. My hands are becoming bloodier and bloodier. My fingernails begin to rip off but I can’t think about it. All I can think about is destroying my Berlin wall.
I’ve knocked it down. I can see the light. I keep running and running to the light. I am so close. Just a little further and then...who the hell knows what? Do I die after everything? Or do I wake up? Do I live to fight another day?
I’ve made it.
One more step and then...it’s go time.
I’m ready. Oh, I’m coming for you, you bastards. I will not be beaten by this. Just one more step. One more step. Everything will be fine, why worry?
I step forward and am consumed by the light.